Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Test Reliability and Compliance to a Twelve-Month Visual Field Telemedicine Study in Glaucoma Patients
    Prea, SM ; Vingrys, AJ ; Kong, GYX (MDPI, 2022-08-01)
    BACKGROUND: Our primary aim is to quantify test reliability and compliance of glaucoma patients to a weekly visual field telemedicine (VFTM) schedule. A secondary aim is to determine concordance of the VFTM results to in-clinic outcomes. METHODS: Participants with stable glaucoma in one eye were recruited for a 12 month VFTM trial using the Melbourne Rapid Fields (MRF-home, MRFh) iPad application. Participants attended routine 6 month clinical reviews and were tasked with weekly home monitoring with the MRFh over this period. We determined compliance to weekly VFTM (7 + 1 days) and test reliability (false positives (FPs) and fixation loss (FL) <33%). A secondary aim considered concordance to in-clinic measures of visual field (MRF-clinic (MRFc) and the Humphrey Field Analyzer (HFA)) in active participants (≥10 home examinations and 5 reliable HFA examinations). The linear trend in the MRFh mean deviation (MD) was compared to the HFA guided progression analysis (GPA) using Bland-Altman methods. Data are shown as the mean ± standard deviation. RESULTS: Forty-seven participants with a mean age of 64 ± 14.6 years were recruited for the trial. The VFTM uptake was 85% and compliance to weekly home monitoring was 75% in the presence of weekly text reminders in the analysed group (n = 20). The analysed group was composed of test subjects with five reliable in-clinic HFA examinations (GPA analysis available) and who submitted a minimum of 10 MRFh examinations from home. Of the 757 home examinations returned, approximately two-thirds were reliable, which was significantly lower than the test reliability of the HFA in-clinic (MRFh: 65% vs. HFA: 85%, p < 0.001). The HFA-GPA analysis gave little bias from the MRFh slope (bias: 0.05 dB/yr, p > 0.05). Two eyes were found to have clinical progression during the 12 month period, and both were detected by VFTM. CONCLUSIONS: VFTM over 12 months returned good compliance (75%) to weekly testing with good concordance to in-clinic assays. VFTM is a viable option for monitoring patients with glaucoma for visual field progression in between clinical visits.
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    Implantation and Recording of Wireless Electroretinogram and Visual Evoked Potential in Conscious Rats
    Charng, J ; He, Z ; Bui, B ; Vingrys, A ; Ivarsson, M ; Fish, R ; Gurrell, R ; Nguyen, C (JOURNAL OF VISUALIZED EXPERIMENTS, 2016-06-01)
    The full-field electroretinogram (ERG) and visual evoked potential (VEP) are useful tools to assess retinal and visual pathway integrity in both laboratory and clinical settings. Currently, preclinical ERG and VEP measurements are performed with anesthesia to ensure stable electrode placements. However, the very presence of anesthesia has been shown to contaminate normal physiological responses. To overcome these anesthesia confounds, we develop a novel platform to assay ERG and VEP in conscious rats. Electrodes are surgically implanted sub-conjunctivally on the eye to assay the ERG and epidurally over the visual cortex to measure the VEP. A range of amplitude and sensitivity/timing parameters are assayed for both the ERG and VEP at increasing luminous energies. The ERG and VEP signals are shown to be stable and repeatable for at least 4 weeks post surgical implantation. This ability to record ERG and VEP signals without anesthesia confounds in the preclinical setting should provide superior translation to clinical data.
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    Reversibility of retinal ganglion cell dysfunction due to chronic IOP elevation.
    Zhao, D ; Wong, VHY ; He, Z ; Nguyen, CTO ; Jobling, AI ; Fletcher, E ; Chinnery, H ; Jusuf, P ; Lim, JKH ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2018-07-01)
    Purpose : To determine the duration of chronic IOP elevation beyond which ganglion cell function can no longer recover using the mouse circumlimbal suture model. Methods : IOP elevation was induced in anaesthetized (isoflurane) adult male C57BL6/J mice by attaching a circumlimbal suture (nylon, 10/0) around the equator of one eye, with the contralateral eye serving as a control. The suture was left in place for 8, 12 and 16 weeks (n=27, 23 and 27), respectively, and animals underwent electroretinography and optical coherence tomography at these time points. In two other groups, the suture was removed after 8 and 12 weeks (n=26 and 28), and the capacity for recovery assessed 4 weeks later. IOP was measured weekly (Tonolab). Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) function (or integrity) was assessed with the positive scotopic threshold response (pSTR) and retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) thickness. Data (mean ± SEM) were compared using t-test (control vs. treatment) and one-way ANOVA (within groups). Results : IOP in sutured eyes was higher than control eyes (8wk: 17.1 ± 0.3 vs. 26.8 ± 0.6 mmHg, 12wk: 13.8 ± 0.3 vs. 19.5 ± 0.5 mmHg, 16wk: 17.1 ± 0.2 vs. 27.4 ± 0.6 mmHg; all P<0.001). After suture removal, IOP returned to levels comparable to control eyes (8+4wk: 16.9 ± 0.3 vs. 16.1 ± 0.3 mmHg; P=0.08, 12+4wk: 17.3 ± 0.2 vs. 17.1 ± 0.3 mmHg; P=0.5). With IOP elevation, RGC function declined to 75% ± 8% (8wk), 78% ± 7% (12wk) and 59% ± 4% (16wk, all P<0.001) of control eyes. RNFL thinning was also evident (8wk: 84% ± 4%, 12wk: 83% ± 5%; 16wk: 83% ± 3%; P<0.001) but no change in total retinal thickness was noted (P=0.33). Suture removal at week 8 facilitated full recovery of RGC function (97% ± 7%, P=0.9 vs. baseline) 4 weeks later. However, there was no recovery in RNFL thickness (87% ± 3%, P<0.001 vs. baseline). When the suture was removed at week 12, neither function (79% ± 9%, P<0.05) nor RNFL thickness recovered (89% ± 3%, P<0.01) 4 weeks later. Conclusions : RGC dysfunction can be recovered 4 weeks after an 8-week period of mild IOP elevation, but not after a 12-week period. Beyond 12 weeks, IOP reversal only served to prevent further functional decline. This identifies a critical chronic IOP duration that results in irreversible ganglion cell dysfunction. This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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    Response of the Rat Optic Nerve to Acute Intraocular and Intracranial Pressure Changes
    Zhao, D ; He, Z ; Van Koeverden, A ; Vingrys, AJ ; Wong, VHY ; Lim, JKH ; Nguyen, CTO ; Bui, BV ; Wang, N (Springer, 2019)
    Glaucoma is a neurodegenerative disease, characterized by the progressive death of retinal ganglion cells. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is known to be an important risk factor for glaucoma; however, it is not the only force acting on the optic nerve. Intracranial pressure (ICP) also exerts an effect on the optic nerve head, effectively opposing the force applied by IOP. Indeed, this balance of forces creates a pressure gradient (or the translaminar pressure gradient) across the optic nerve head [1]. Increasingly it is thought that the pressure difference between IOP and ICP, the translaminar pressure (TLP), may be critical for the integrity of the retina and optic nerve [2], and thus ICP may be an important risk factor for glaucoma [2–6].
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    A Model of Glaucoma Induced by Circumlimbal Suture in Rats and Mice
    He, Z ; Zhao, D ; van Koeverden, AK ; Nguyen, CT ; Lim, JKH ; Wong, VHY ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV (Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2018)
    The circumlimbal suture is a technique for inducing experimental glaucoma in rodents by chronically elevating intraocular pressure (IOP), a well-known risk factor for glaucoma. This protocol demonstrates a step-by-step guide on this technique in Long Evans rats and C57BL/6 mice. Under general anesthesia, a "purse-string" suture is applied on the conjunctiva, around the equator and behind the limbus of the eye. The fellow eye serves as an untreated control. Over the duration of our study, which was a period of 8 weeks for rats and 12 weeks for mice, IOP remained elevated, as measured regularly by rebound tonometry in conscious animals without topical anesthesia. In both species, the sutured eyes showed electroretinogram features consistent with preferential inner retinal dysfunction. Optical coherence tomography showed selective thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer. Histology of the rat retina in cross-section found reduced cell density in the ganglion cell layer, but no change in other cellular layers. Staining of flat-mounted mouse retinae with a ganglion cell specific marker (RBPMS) confirmed ganglion cell loss. The circumlimbal suture is a simple, minimally invasive and cost-effective way to induce ocular hypertension that leads to ganglion cell injury in both rats and mice.
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    Screening for Glaucomatous Visual Field Defects in Rural Australia with an iPad.
    Chia, MA ; Trang, E ; Agar, A ; Vingrys, AJ ; Hepschke, J ; Kong, GY ; Turner, AW (Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishing, 2021)
    AIM AND OBJECTIVE: Developing improved methods for early detection of visual field defects is pivotal to reducing glaucoma-related vision loss. The Melbourne Rapid Fields screening module (MRF-S) is an iPad-based test, which allows suprathreshold screening with zone-based analysis to rapidly assess the risk of manifest glaucoma. The versatility of MRF-S has potential utility in rural areas and during infectious pandemics. This study evaluates the utility of MRF-S for detecting field defects in non-metropolitan settings. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a prospective, multicenter, cross-sectional validation study. Two hundred and fifty-two eyes of 142 participants were recruited from rural sites through two outreach eye services in Australia. Participants were tested using MRF-S and compared with a reference standard; either Zeiss Humphrey Field Analyzer or Haag-Streit Octopus performed at the same visit. Standardized questionnaires were used to assess user acceptability. Major outcome measures were the area under the curve (AUC) for detecting mild and moderate field defects defined by the reference tests, along with corresponding performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity). RESULTS: The mean test duration for MRF-S was 1.88 minutes compared with 5.92 minutes for reference tests. The AUCs for mild and moderate field defects were 0.81 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.75-0.87] and 0.87 (95% CI: 0.83-0.92), respectively, indicating very good diagnostic accuracy. Using a risk criterion of 55%, MRF-S identified moderate field defects with a sensitivity and specificity of 88.4 and 81.0%, respectively. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The MRF-S iPad module can identify patients with mild and moderate field defects while delivering favorable user acceptability and short test duration. This has potential application within rural locations and amidst infectious pandemics. HOW TO CITE THIS ARTICLE: Chia MA, Trang E, Agar A, et al. Screening for Glaucomatous Visual Field Defects in Rural Australia with an iPad. J Curr Glaucoma Pract 2021;15(3):125-131.
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    Vision and Visuomotor Performance Following Acute Ischemic Stroke.
    Wijesundera, C ; Crewther, SG ; Wijeratne, T ; Vingrys, AJ (Frontiers Media SA, 2022)
    BACKGROUND: As measurable sensory and motor deficits are key to the diagnosis of stroke, we investigated the value of objective tablet based vision and visuomotor capacity assessment in acute mild-moderate ischemic stroke (AIS) patients. METHODS: Sixty AIS patients (65 ± 14 years, 33 males) without pre-existing visual/neurological disorders and acuity better than 6/12 were tested at their bedside during the first week post-stroke and were compared to 40 controls (64 ± 11 years, 15 males). Visual field sensitivity, quantified as mean deviation (dB) and visual acuity (with and without luminance noise), were tested on MRFn (Melbourne Rapid Field-Neural) iPad application. Visuomotor capacity was assessed with the Lee-Ryan Eye-Hand Coordination (EHC) iPad application using a capacitive stylus for iPad held in the preferred hand.Time to trace 3 shapes and displacement errors (deviations of >3.5 mm from the shape) were recorded. Diagnostic capacity was considered with Receiver Operating Characteristics. Vision test outcomes were correlated with National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at the admission. RESULTS: Of the 60 AIS patients, 58 grasped the iPad stylus in their preferred right hand even though 31 had left hemisphere lesions. Forty-one patients (68%) with better than 6/12 visual acuity (19 right, 19 left hemisphere and 3 multi-territorial lesions) returned significantly abnormal visual fields. The stroke group took significantly longer (AIS: 93.4 ± 60.1 s; Controls: 33.1 ± 11.5 s, p < 0.01) to complete EHC tracing and made larger displacements (AIS: 16,388 ± 36,367 mm; Controls: 2,620 ± 1,359 mm, p < 0.01) although both control and stroke groups made similar numbers of errors. EHC time was not significantly different between participants with R (n = 26, 84.3 ± 55.3 s) and L (n = 31, 101.3 ± 64.7 s) hemisphere lesions. NIHSS scores and EHC measures showed low correlations (Spearman R: -0.15, L: 0.17). ROC analysis of EHC and vision tests found high diagnostic specificity and sensitivity for a fail at EHC time, or visual field, or Acuity-in-noise (sensivity: 93%, specificity: 83%) that shows little relationship to NIHSS scores. CONCLUSIONS: EHC time and vision test outcomes provide an easy and rapid bedside measure that complements existing clinical assessments in AIS. The low correlation between visual function, NIHSS scores and lesion site offers an expanded clinical view of changes following stroke.
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    Evaluating retinal biomarkers in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease
    Nguyen, CTO ; Tran, K ; Lim, JKH ; Wong, VHY ; Shahandeh, A ; Vingrys, AJ ; Bui, BV ; Finkelstein, D (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2019-07-01)
    Purpose : The retina, an accessible outpouching of the central nervous system, may manifest cortical changes that occur with Parkinson’s disease (PD), lending itself as a potential biomarker. PD is characterised by reduced dopamine levels, a neurotransmitter found in amacrine cells. Human PD patients have also shown structural changes in the outer retina. This work aims to determine if retinal function and structure are altered in a murine model of PD and whether deficits can be ameliorated with L-DOPA treatment. Methods : A PD model was induced in adult C57BL6/J mice using MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine, 4x i.p. injections, 20mg/kg) and vehicle control and examined at day 21 and 45. Another MPTP group was administered L-DOPA (L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine 0.2 mg/ml) or control in their drinking water and assessed at day 45 (n=12–15/group). In ketamine:xylazine anaesthetised (80:10mg/kg) mice full-field dark- and light-adapted electroretinography (ERG) was assessed to target dopamine-related responses. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to quantify thickness of retinal layers. Retinal and cortical tissue were collected for immunohistochemical assessment of changes in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)and imaged using confocal microscopy. Data (mean±SEM) were compared using unpaired ANOVA and t-tests as appropriate. Results : At day 21 no retinal changes were found. At day 45 dark and light adapted ERGs showed slower amacrine cell responses (oscillatory potential, p<0.05), a finding which reversed with L-DOPA treatment (p<0.05). Other components of the ERG were unchanged. TH staining showed a trend towards decreased retinal levels in MPTP mice but this did not reach significance (p=0.10). Reduced levels of TH were found in the ventral hippocampus of MPTP mice compared with control (p<0.05). OCT revealed thinning of the outer plexiform layer at day 45, and the L-DOPA group exhibited a thinning of the outer nuclear layer (p<0.05). Conclusions : This study shows for the first time that the MPTP model recapitulates key dopaminergic changes previously reported in humans. In particular, electroretinographic changes that correspond with dopaminergic retinal cells occur in the Parkinson’s model and reverse with therapeutic treatment. Structural thinning of the outer retinal layers also occur, which parallels some human findings. This work paves the way for retinal measures as preclinical screening tools in drug development.
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    How ganglion cell responses to IOP elevation are impacted by blood pressure and intracranial pressure
    Bui, BV ; van Koeverden, A ; He, Z ; Vingrys, AJ ; Nguyen, CTO ; Zhao, D (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, 2019-07-01)
    Purpose : The extent to which blood pressure or intracranial pressure modifies ganglion cell responses to acute intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation incompletely understood. Using the electroretinogram (ERG) we measure ganglion cell mediated responses in rat retina, whilst acutely modifying IOP, BP and ICP in a systematic manner. We quantify the relationship between ganglion cell function and ocular perfusion pressure (BP - IOP) at low, normal and high ICP. Methods : Six groups of adult Long-Evans rats (n=7-11 eyes/group, total animals = 25) were anaesthetised (60:5mg/kg ketamine:xylazine) and underwent acute pressure modification. A femoral artery and vein were cannulated for blood pressure measurement and manipulation (sodium nitroprusside to lower and angiotensin II to elevate pressure). ICP was set to -5, 5 or 25 mmHg via a dual cannula (30G infusion needle inside a 23G measurement needle) placed into the lateral ventricle (-1.5mm from bregma, ±2mm from midline) on the ipsilateral side to the cannulated eye (30G, vitreal chamber). At each ICP (-5, 5 or 25 mmHg) and BP setting (normal or high), IOP was raised from 10 to 90 mmHg in 10 mmHg steps (3 min each). At each IOP level ganglion cell function was assessed using the scotopic threshold response (-5 log cd.s/m2, 20 repeats). Data were compared using one- and two-way ANOVA. Results : Average blood pressure at baseline was similar for the normal blood pressure groups (ICP-5 93±3; ICP5 99±5; ICP25 105±3mmHg, p=0.8). There was significant BP elevation in all the high blood pressure groups (ICP-5 160±3; ICP5 157±3; ICP25 157±5mmHg p<0.001). Compared with normal blood pressure groups (32.0±2.0μV), animals with high blood pressure (24.5±1.8μV) had significantly smaller baseline STR amplitudes (p<0.01). There was also a significant ICP effect (p<0.01), with larger baseline amplitudes in the 25mmHg ICP group (34.8±1.6μV) compared with normal (26.4±2.5μV) and low ICP groups (23.9±2.5μV). The ocular perfusion pressure (BP-IOP) relationship fully could not account for difference in ganglion cell function between ICP levels. Conclusions : Ganglion cell function is dependent on ocular perfusion pressure, excessive low or high perfusion attenuates function. Higher intracranial pressure appears to protect against acute ocular perfusion stress.
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    Effect of intraocular pressure on vascular autoregulation of the mouse trilaminar network
    Lim, JKH ; Wu, RH ; Wong, VHY ; Vingrys, AJ ; Nguyen, CTO ; Bui, BV (ASSOC RESEARCH VISION OPHTHALMOLOGY INC, 2019-07-01)
    PURPOSE. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the superficial, intermediate, and deep retinal vascular plexus show different responses to intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation. METHODS. Anesthetized adult Long Evans rats (n = 14) were imaged using optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA; Spectralis) at baseline (IOP 10 mm Hg) and in follow-up mode to examine the vasculature during IOP elevation (10 to 110 mm Hg, 10 mm Hg steps, each step 3 minutes). A 20° × 10° field was imaged. Vessel density within a 2D projection image was determined (%) for the superficial vascular complex (SVC), intermediate capillary plexus (ICP), and deep capillary plexus (DCP). Comparisons were made between layers using 2-way repeated measures ANOVA (layer versus IOP) following normalization to baseline (% relative to 10 mm Hg). RESULTS. The three vascular layers responded differently to IOP elevation. For IOPs between 40 and 60 mm Hg, DCP and ICP capillaries were significantly more resistant to IOP elevation than those in the SVC. When IOP was elevated above 70 mm Hg, all layers showed reduced vessel density. IOP induced change in SVC vessel density closely followed reductions in thickness of the inner retinal layers (nerve fiber, ganglion cell, and inner plexiform layer). This close relationship between reductions in tissue thickness and vessel density was less apparent for the ICP and DCP. CONCLUSIONS. These data show that the intermediate and deep vascular plexus in the rat retina have a greater capacity for autoregulation against mild IOP elevation but are more affected at high IOP.